News Wire Digest Third Section for Friday, March 27

NTSB investigation to focus on tank-car performance; VIA Rail Canada employee tests positive for virus; and more
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NTSB

Friday afternoon rail news:

— The National Transportation Safety Board will make the performance of DOT-111A, DOT-117, and DOT-117R tank cars one of the focal points in its investigation of a Feb. 13 derailment of a CSX train in Draffin, Ky. The preliminary report on the accident, released Thursday, also indicates the agency will look at slide detectors, weather alerts, and the positioning of cars within the train consist. The train was transporting 96 loaded cars of ethanol when it derailed on a hillside along the Russell Fork River, leading to a fire involving two of the cars of ethanol as well as diesel fuel from the locomotives.

— A VIA Rail Canada employee who was working the Quebec City-Windsor, Ont., corridor has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the passenger carrier announced. CTV News reports VIA has contacted crews and other employees who may have had contact with the employee in question, and is contacting passengers who may have had direct or indirect contact. The employee worked trains 61, 44, 642, and 68 on March 14-15, began displaying symptoms on March 18, and was tested on March 21.

— Union Pacific has donated 6,600 N95 respirator masks — in short supply nationally because of the COVID-19 outbreak, and needed by health-care professionals — to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, the North Platte Telegraph reports. The railroad determined had more than enough for its employees and gathered the masks from nine locations on its system to donate to the medical facility.

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